While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 13

Trump bans US investments in firms linked to Chinese military

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled an executive order prohibiting US investments in Chinese firms that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, ramping up pressure on Beijing after the US election.

The order could impact some of China’s biggest companies, including telecoms firms China Telecom, China Mobile and surveillance equipment maker Hikvision.

The move is designed to deter US investment firms, pension funds and others from buying and selling shares of 31 Chinese companies designated by the Defence Department earlier this year as backed by the Chinese military.

Starting Jan 11, the order will prohibit any transaction by US investors in the securities of those companies. It also bans Americans from buying and selling securities in a Chinese company 60 days after it is designated as a Chinese military company.

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Pope congratulates Biden on US election win in phone call

Pope Francis spoke with Joe Biden by telephone on Thursday to offer “blessings and congratulations” to the US president-elect on his victory.

Former vice-president Biden, 77, is only the second Catholic elected to the US presidency, after John F Kennedy in 1960.

During a bitter 2020 campaign against President Donald Trump, Biden quoted Pope John Paul II, frequently invoked his Irish Catholic roots and pledged to “restore the soul of America” after four years of acrimony.

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Man sets himself on fire in Cairo’s Tahrir Square

A man set himself on fire in Tahrir Square in central Cairo on Thursday and was being treated for burns at a hospital in the capital.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show the man filming himself as he walked along the street and then in the square, complaining about alleged corruption.

Dressed in a suit and tie, he started shouting before setting fire to his clothes.

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Global warming to continue no matter what we do, study shows

Even if humanity stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, the Earth would warm for centuries to come and oceans would rise by metres, according to a controversial modelling study published on Thursday.

Natural drivers of global warming – more heat-trapping clouds, thawing permafrost, and shrinking sea ice – already set in motion by carbon pollution will take on their own momentum, researchers from Norway reported.

“According to our models, humanity is beyond the point-of-no-return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool,” lead author Jorgen Randers told AFP.

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Golf: Woods makes hot start to Masters title defence, Casey leads

Defending champion Tiger Woods tied his best-ever opening round at the Masters and was three shots behind early clubhouse leader Paul Casey while tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau overcame a shaky start with a strong finish on Thursday.

Five-times Masters champion Woods, who had struggled for form in 2020, suddenly looked revived and in command on his familiar Augusta National Golf Club stomping ground as he carded a four-under-par 68.

“It was good all around,” Woods said after his first bogey-free start in 23 Masters appearance. “I drove it well, hit my irons well and putted well. There’s really nothing, looking back on it, that I could have done a little bit better.”

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